No one should live one missed appointment away from a prison sentence.

Tell your legislators to end crimeless revocation in Wisconsin

Between 1980 and 2016, Wisconsin's prison population increased more than fivefold – 456% – to more than 22,000 people. Since 1985, public spending on corrections in Wisconsin has skyrocketed, growing 302% and far outpacing growth in other state spending priority areas such as education.

And one of the forces most responsible for the obscene growth of Wisconsin's prison system is the unjust and unnecessary policy of crimeless revocation. The largest driver of new prisons admission in Wisconsin is revocations. While the DOC does not track crimeless revocations individually, they are included in the DOC classification of revocation-only admissions. Since 2000, revocation-only has accounted for 34% of all new prison admissions, and in 2020 that number jumped to 38.8%.

Crimeless revocations of community supervision, also known as technical violations, send individuals back to prison for violating a rule of supervision that does not involve committing a new crime. These violations can be as minor as borrowing money, missing an appointment, or accepting a job without prior approval. No one should go to prison for such things.

Enough is enough. Wisconsin's harmful practice of crimeless revocation is perpetuating a vicious cycle of mass incarceration that destroys lives, destabilizes communities, wastes taxpayer money, and fails to make us safer. Instead of squandering our time, energy, and resources by continuing to lock people up for innocuous technical violations, we should be working to invest in our communities.

Our communities are strongest when all Wisconsinites can go to work, support their families, and participate in society – without the fear of being thrown back in prison for missing an appointment.

Sign this petition to tell your state legislator you support and demand an end to crimeless revocation in Wisconsin.

Crimeless revocation is a misguided, expensive, and cruel policy that needlessly disrupts the lives of thousands while not making Wisconsin any safer.

We need a community supervision system that genuinely benefits returning citizens and offers them the services and opportunities they need to get back on their feet. People should not have to live under the constant threat of imprisonment for violating a purely technical rule that poses no risk to public safety. We should be using our resources in ways that strengthen communities, improve people’s material conditions and reverse cycles of recidivism. Instead, our state has opted for a policy of crimeless revocation, which has supercharged Wisconsin’s mass incarceration crisis and trapped individuals in a revolving door of criminalization and punishment.

We deserve responses to harm that produce justice and safety for all. Still, we can't get there by embracing the law and order era tactics that have made our criminal legal system into the dysfunctional, racist and costly failure it is today.

Add your name to our petition and join us in calling on politicians across the spectrum to end crimeless revocation in Wisconsin.